September 2018

Newsletter 1


  • Welcome to new staff
  • Events in September
  • Examinations Results 2018
  • Mental Health Awareness - Parent Workshop
  • Our 60th Year
  • Premises Update
  • Development and Alumni News
  • Governor Update
  • AHS Equestrian Team
  • Women's Conference
  • Student Safety

Welcome to new staff

A huge welcome to new staff joining us this term.

Dr Bachler (Biology), Mrs Baker (AVTP & Development), Mrs Bowler (English), Mrs Ellis (p/t Biology), Miss Harty (KS3 PSA), Mr Holme (p/t Geography until Christmas), Mrs Kormos (Reprographics and Food/Textiles Technician), Mrs Payne (p/t Maths), Mrs Readhead (p/t Maths), Mrs Sharp (Maths), Mrs Smith (English), Mrs Waverley (p/t Chemistry & Science).

Also, welcome back to Mrs Morris and Mrs Williams on their return from maternity leave.

Additional staff responsibilities

We wish the following staff well in their new roles:

Mrs Dalby, KS5 PSA

Mrs Griffiths, STL for Geography

Mr Potkin, Careers Coordinator

Mr Stanley, KS3 Coordinator for Mathematics and acting Head of Year 8

Mrs Sutton, Head of Year 12

Events in September

Thank you to all parents who have attended the Year 7 and Year 12 Information Evenings and we look forward to welcoming Year 8 parents (25 September) and Year 10 parents (27 September) to their respective evenings - Year 8's includes important information about the year ahead and the trip to Aberdyfi while Year 10's sets the scene for Key Stage 4 as well as a session from Elevate Education on how best to support students with study and revision skills.

Next week also sees the annual Sports Presentation Evening (21 September) with former international swimmer Joanne Jackson, where our talented teams and individuals have their many achievements celebrated - and 2017-18 was a very good year!

Examination Results 2018

Whilst the statistics tell us something about the students' performances, what is just as important is whether or not the results enabled students to take the next step in their lives.

For last year's Year 13, we have students gaining admission to over 60 universities to study 120 different courses, with others entering high-level apprenticeships with employees ranging from the Government to Sky to Tesco, so we were very pleased that so many students had been able to use their results so successfully. The average A Level grade was a B and extra congratulations to the 37 students with 3 or more A grades and the seven students with 3 or more A* grades.

For GCSE, 71% of results were grade 7 or higher, the average grade was around 7.3 and 107 students gained at least eight grade 7s or better. We are expecting our Progress 8 score (which measures how our students did compared with those at other schools who started with the same KS2 results) to show that we (again) added significant value to our students.

Both GCSE and A Level courses had a large number of subjects with reformed exams for the first time and we are delighted that the hard work of staff to adapt their teaching to the new courses has been so successful.

Y13 Destinations 2018

Mental Health Awareness - Parent Workshop

LEAP in partnership with MIND are offering a parent workshop at AHS on Tuesday 09 October, from 7:00pm - 8:30pm. The workshop has been developed specifically for parents to help them understand the mental health issues many young people face. The mental health charity Mind, will cover topics including:

  • Basic introduction of mental health issues and the importance of maintaining good mental health for your child
  • Spotting potential warning signs and hot spots (e.g. exams and other stress points)
  • Helping to prevent potential problems developing
  • How to approach conversations with young people and understanding why young people don’t seek help
  • The benefits of physical activity for maintaining mental health

Places can be booked at a cost of £15, using this link to the LEAP portal

Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Our 60th Year

This week in assemblies we have had former students speaking about their time at AHS. Penni Thorne and Jenny Puddefoot were both students in 1959 and spoke about the school and how their school experiences had shaped their lives; coincidentally, both went on to be mayors of Aylesbury. To put their visits into perspective, it is the equivalent of one of our current students coming back to an AHS assembly in 2078!

Our third visitor, Estelle Du Boulay, attended from 1988-94 and is the director of Rights of Women, having worked in charitable organisations whose work focuses on gender and race equality and human rights, and she spoke about how her time at AHS inspired her to go on to a vocation supporting women and the disadvantaged in particularly challenging circumstances.

We are looking forward to more contacts with former students during our sixtieth year.

Premises Update

The roofing works continue for the next few weeks and then we will have a Harding Hall and New Block which will be watertight for a very long time to come. Thank you to everyone for putting up with the disruption. The temporary roof on the New Block was so big and bright that it could be seen from the right hand windows of planes taking off from Luton!

Refurbished Kitchen

During the holidays we had a complete refurbishment of the Dining Room and kitchen, which will improve the flow of students through the servery, provide better facilities for the catering staff and generally brighten up the Dining Room.

Also, the final work on laboratory S17 was also completed; the latter funded largely by parental donations and very welcome grants from the William Harding's Charity and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The Periodic Table showing the donors for each element will be going up outside S17 shortly.

Laboratory S17

Display showing the kind donors for the refurbishment of S17

Development and Alumni News

We are hugely grateful to parents and friends of the school who have already donated to our Building a Brighter Future campaign to mark our Sixtieth Year.

This year, our ambition is transform the Tower Block classrooms, but it really is subject to raising sufficient funds. If we can manage it, with parental help, this project has the potential to improve the lessons of just about everyone in the school and bring the 1959-built rooms into the twenty-first century.

We are intending to:

  • completely re-model all ten classrooms in the Tower Block with new flooring, heating, lighting, display screens and storage
  • remove lockers from classrooms to increase space

Please do look at the Building a Brighter Future leaflet when you receive it and make a contribution to enhancing a significant proportion of the school's facilities. These classrooms are some of the most intensively used in the school.

Alison Pexton, Development and Alumni Relations Director -

The Tower Block

Look out for your letter!

Governor Update

It’s been a busy start to the academic year, even for Governors – welcome back and to those new parents and Yr 7/12 students – a warm welcome. I hope you all managed to get a break during the summer.

I wanted to start by saying well done to all the Yr 12 students for their GCSE successes. I was fortunate enough to attend the Yr12 Information/Presentation Evening earlier this month and hear first-hand about all your hard work and the support and assistance provided by the teaching and support staff.

As I write this article the Governing Body are preparing for their first sub-committees (Teaching & Learning, Resources and Personnel), with the Full Governing Body scheduled to meet on 8 Oct. We will be electing Chairs, agreeing Terms of Reference for each Committee (which will be updated on the school website’s Governor page), undertaking a review of school policies as well as conducting an initial assessment of the school’s exam results, reviewing the school budget and Improvement Plan.

Throughout the course of the academic year you can expect to see members of the Governing Body at most, if not all, of the school’s events, including consultation evenings, so please feel free to chat to us about any issues you may have.

The Governing Body itself is comprised of up to 18 Governors, a combination of parents/carers, staff, community and co-opted Governors, who are responsible for the overall strategic direction and performance of the school. Together we aim to bring a breadth of experience and expertise to the development of the school and oversight of the delivery of education to its pupils. As a Governing Body we act for the school as a whole – pupils, parents, carers, teachers and support staff. Our remit is primarily strategic in nature whilst the operational running of the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher and the senior staff.

Following Mr Rosen’s recent announcement, another important role of the Governing Body is responsibility for the recruitment and appointment of the Headteacher. As we begin this recruitment process I will look to ensure that staff, parents and students are kept regularly updated. In addition, the Governing Body will also reflect on how best to mark Mr Rosen’s time at AHS in what is after all our 60th year.

Arfan Chaudhry, Chair of Governors

AHS Equestrian Team

Do you ride competitively? Would you like to be part of the AHS Equestrian Team?

AHS is a member of the National Schools Equestrian Association. They organize many competitions throughout the country covering all disciplines. So whether you compete in Dressage, Show Jumping or Eventing there should be a competition out there for you. Show Jumps start from as low as 50cms and go up to 1m.

There are opportunities to compete at National Championships and super venues, such as Royal Windsor Horse Show and Hickstead.

If you would like to know more, have a look at or drop me a line, Rachel Good at . I have 2 daughters at AHS who both ride competitively and I have taken the role of Team Manager for AHS. I ensure that everybody, who wishes, is signed up with NSEA and it is then down to each individual to enter and pay for entries and then inform me of all entries. Where possible, we shall enter Teams.

Women's Conference

Buckinghamshire New University are looking to hold a Women's Conference on 10 October 2018 with a focus of encouraging women and young women from 18 to engage in politics and volunteering. The young women will be able to find out about the "real" world of politics, volunteering, getting on Boards and Trustee roles from women already in these roles.

The Conference will also provide an opportunity for young women to prepare for the future, and the organiser is keen to hear from any student who wishes to join her in the planning or anyone willing to be involved in the filming of this Conference.

A particular attention is being given to underrepresented groups.

Cllr Shade Adoh, District Councillor for Stokenchurch & Radnage

Student Safety

Following an incident close to AHS last week please can you spend some time reminding your daughter to report any suspicious behaviour to you, a member of staff at AHS or the police. Encourage her to be mindful of her surroundings, aiming to walk close to other students to and from school and by ensuring that she can hear others around her or traffic sounds over any music playing in her ears or mobile phone distractions.

We have also had reports of students crossing roads in an unsafe manner so this is a reminder to everyone to be careful and vigilant.